I’m going to guess that someone has already come running up to you, screaming, seized you by the shirt, gotten right up in your face, and bellowed to you about how there’s a new Mitsuoka Viewt. They likely yelled about how, for the first time, it’s not based on a Nissan! After you implored them to say it, not spray it, they likely then reassured you that it still has that mid-’60s Jaguar S-Type look about it, so no need to worry. This sort of excitement isn’t surprising when you take a moment to recall that Mitsuoka is arguably the best carmaker currently operating in the world, and as such merits that level of passion. This new Viewt is called the Viewt Story, and if you want a miniaturized old Jaguar that might actually start and run most of the time and gets good fuel economy, I don’t think you have any other choice.
Mitsuoka specializes in building retro-inspired cars based on heavily modified modern platforms. The current Mitsuoka lineup includes Miata-based old Corvette-like cars, a Toyota RAV4 that looks like a GM SUV from the ’80s, larger Nissan-based Jag-like cars, Morgan-like things, and of course the Viewt. They’re just fun.
In case you’e unfamiliar with previous Viewts, feel free to enjoy this Mitsuoka Viewt promo video:
The design of the Viewt Story has remained remarkably consistent with its previous generations despite the switch from Nissan Micra underpinnings to the Toyota Yaris, and that’s because they all still pull from the same Jaguar S-Type/Jaguar Mk. II source material:
There’s a few visible differences from previous-gen Viewts compared to this 30th- anniversary model, including how the fake lower round horn grilles now have lights in them, the addition of what appears to be a radar transceiver aperture window sorta half-assedly hidden in the grille, and of course the greenhouse and window shapes are the same as the donor Yaris.
Around back, the Viewt is now a hatchback instead of a little sedan, which should offer a lot more practicality and utility, especially for those of you hoping to haul around your lawnmower in a small car that looks like a curvaceous mid-’60s icon of British motoring. The stock Yaris taillights are gone, replaced with a pair of huge round, jewel-faceted red lamps, with indicators and reverse lamps set into the chrome rear bumper. I’m not a fan of indicators in bumpers, but I do like the big round taillights. Still, they could have figured out how to get the indicators in there if they just tried a bit, come on.
The ex-Yaris interior can be had in many new upholstery colors and trim details, which does liven it up an awful lot, though the instruments and infotainment setup remain normal Toyota fare, which is probably a good thing from a serviceability and longevity angle.
Three engine options are available 1- and 1.5-liter three-bangers and a 1.5-liter hybrid version, and you can get a manual or a CVT (or and eCVT, even), and there’s both FWD and AWD versions, just like what you’d find on the Yaris, because, you know, this is a Yaris in some fun clothes.
These aren’t even all that expensive, considering! If you go for the base 1-liter version, it should start at only about $22,300, and the most-optioned hybrid one is roughly $31,000. For a little fuel-sipping hatchback, that’s pretty good, and this one actually looks fun and like something you chose to buy, because you’re a person who enjoys the business of living, instead of something you had to buy, because everything sucks.
I mean, the base one is about the price of a base model Toyota Corolla, but this one won’t put you in a coma every time you turn and look back at it in a parking lot.
Of course, we don’t get these in America, and likely never will. I mean, you can find old ones for sale here, like this pretty wine-colored one for just under $11,000, so if you really have the Viewt-thirst, it can be slaked, if you don’t mind your Viewts aged.
I’m glad these exist. Really, there should be lots more affordable cars that look like caricatures of iconic automobiles. Why the hell not, right? Live a little.
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So is this the car Viewtiful Joe drives? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viewtiful_Joe_(video_game)
I unironically like both of their Miata-based offerings
I agree, and I like this new Viewt, too, especially the rear. I think it works fairly well from the front, too, apart from the radar/camera/thingy window in the grille.
People who don’t like Mitsuoka either have no sense of style or no sense of humor. Possibly both.
I’m sad they no longer make the Orochi.
I really wish they based the corvette and Morgan clones on the convertible hardtop miata. That would be amazing and who cares about weight arbitrage or rigidity for a vintage repo/kit/clone?
Not far from where I lived in the UK there was a Mitsuoka specialist. They used to have a Himiko (the Morgan one) outside the showroom. It is NC miata based and this one was built on the retractable hardtop version.
I’m surprised they don’t get sued. It’s too bad they aren’t readily available in the US as they’re certainly cool.
I am so ready for a GR Viewt!
Yes! Surely it’s only a matter of time someone does this, because a the face of a large 1960s jaguar saloon grafted onto a 21st century supermini just won’t be weird enough for some.
I want that Rav4, why can’t we have these?
That person running up to you screaming about the new Mitsuoka was probably me. I’ll defend Mitsuoka to death as being the best current car company just because they’ve been doing their retro thing for years now and keep on doing it no matter what anyone says.
I do think Mitsuoka has been on a roll lately. Both the Miata based Rockstar and the Rav 4 based Buddy are legitimately good looking in my opinion and I really like this one too. I think it looks better than the old Viewt. It’s amazing that they’re so affordable too. Mitsuoka posts a lot of behind the scenes pictures on twitter and basically everything they do to the base car is done by hand. I’d figure they’d cost so much more because of the bespoke parts and extra labor involved.
I agree the Rockstar and Buddy look particularly great, who wouldn’t want to get a buddy over a standard RAV4?
As a fan do you know how they landed on the name Viewt? It’s a really uncomfortable to read for me, it looks and sounds wrong, like a typo. Is it Viewt like newt or View-T like beauty?
Honestly I don’t really know much about Mitsuoka’s history for as much as I like them. The fact that they’re a Japanese company that doesn’t have any popularity outside of Japan means info about them written in a language I can read is pretty hard to come by. I’m not sure how they landed on the name Viewt but this is also the same company who had several different cars called the Bubu so I figure weird names are just par for the course.
Is there a reason they couldn’t offer the body kits in the US?
A good solution to the Yaris’ butt ugly stock grill.
I’m tired of Jaguar Mk II design language. I want Mitsuoka to build a Triumph Mayflower replica.
That would be so meta, since the Mayflower is a Mitsuoka-like tribute to a Rolls-Royce 🙂
Love these Mitsuoka cars, I’d buy a Buddy in a heartbeat if they offered them in the US.
A Viewt is an even more Torch car than the Pao. I’m kinda shocked you don’t have one already.
Classic “Japan being Japan.” I kinda dig it, especially in some of the wacky colors.
Colors. Hallelujah! Also, the Chicago car show, went with my brother (Lexus Mechanic) and was blown away, not by the cars, though some were cool, but by the colors. Real colors. Heavenly